When I read the request for an Advent/Christmas Reflection I thought it would be an easy task so I started to write; and I wrote; and I wrote; and I wrote. One version; two versions; three versions and none seemed to capture a true sense of reflection for me. Then it hit me. I was focusing on the season as Carol, the member at St. Mary Anne’s. Most of my reflective memories come from much earlier.
I grew up in a family of 7 girls. As daughter number 5, I remember Advent and Christmas as an exciting but painful time of Waiting. When Thanksgiving was over and all the extra stuffing and gravy were gone, the house took on a new sense of expectation. The music played on the piano by my mother changed. Those marvelous hymns like Hark the Thrilling Voice is Sounding and Sleeper’s Wake echoed most days until my Dad brought the tree home.
Being number 5, most of my tree duty was to stay out of the way. Mom would play all the standard Christmas Carols while the tree was getting dressed for the season. Peg and Anne would put on the lights; Mary was in charge of tinsel (one strand at a time) and Betty decorated the mirror with colored glass wax and a sponge. Once the tree was finished, Mom wrapped a white percale sheet around the bottom as a tree skirt.
Laying under that tree and looking up while the Christmas records were playing on the HiFi was magical. The memory of the smells, the laughter, and the singing, all those years ago have helped to shape a desire for that same memory and sense of expectation for the Birth to be in my own family.